Diabetes self-management education: an effective response to the increasing burden in under-served communities

Diabetes prevalence is increasing in leaps and bounds worldwide.In developing countries, where limited healthcare resources are exacerbated by the needs of growing (and ageing) populations, the burden of diabetes is set to have its greatest and most damaging impact. Previously considered a disease of relatively affluent people living in urban areas, diabetes is now on the rise in rural populations. The related health management burden stems from late diagnosis and poor control, specifically glycaemic control and control of the risk factors for cardiovascular events – hypertension, hypercholesterolemia, increasing obesity – owing to poor education and scarce health resources. Elizabeth Paz-Pacheco reports on a four-phase project in a rural community in the Philippines, which aims to overcome these challenges in order to protect the longterm health of the population against the rising tide of diabetes.